Bryson Barnes Finds Devaughn Vele To Put Utah On Board

Nov 18, 2023, 2:05 PM

Utah Utes football Cal Golden Bears Devaughn Vele...

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 14: Devaughn Vele #17 of the Utah Utes breaks a tackle attempt by Matthew Littlejohn #22 of the California Golden Bears during the first half of their game at Rice-Eccles Stadium October 14, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

TUCSON, Ariz. – After a rough start for Utah, they finally put some points on the board late in the second quarter with a touchdown pass to Devaughn Vele.

The Wildcats offense took advantage of a shorthanded Utes defense and jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first half.

The touchdown was Vele’s third of the season.

Utah’s defense was without Cole Bishop and Jonah Elliss against Arizona. The effect of the missing playmakers was apparent from very early on.

RELATED: Utah Utes Injury Updates Ahead Of Arizona

The Wildcats missed their field goal at the end of the second quarter, leaving the score at 28-7 going into the break.

Three Storylines For Utah Football Vs. Arizona

  1. Don’t Let The Same Team Beat You Twice. Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham echoed this after Utah got walloped at home by Oregon a few weeks back. The Utes responded well by completely dismantling ASU the following week. However, unlike last time, Utah is on the road a second straight week. Arizona is a much better team than ASU. This most recent loss to Washington feels like it stung more than an Oregon game that was always out of reach for the Utes.
  2. Playing A Complete Game Start To Finish. In order to accomplish storyline number one, Utah is going to need to do a much better job of this storyline than they did a week ago against UW. Utah stopped letting the game come to them after halftime and pressed hard to make plays happen (particularly on offense) resulting in no plays and ultimately no win by the time the final whistle sounded.
  3. Bryson Barnes’ Time To Shine. As mentioned in storyline number one, Utah did a great job bouncing back against ASU a few weeks ago and that was largely thanks to Barnes putting a bad performance behind him and encouraging everyone to get to work. This latest loss rounding into the matchup with Arizona is a much tougher deal with the reasons already being mentioned. Barnes’s leadership and toughness will be really tested this week in how Utah responds to finish out the year.

Two Questions Heading Into Utah Vs. Arizona

  1. Where Is Utah’s Confidence Currently At? As already mentioned, Utah had the Huskies on the ropes last week. That game was theirs for the taking, but they didn’t ultimately succeed in doing that. The disappointment was palpable in post-game compared to the other previous losses. How have the Utes handled that this week? Have they successfully put that to bed in order to go up against another respectable opponent this weekend? This feels like a very important point simply due to where it appears Arizona’s confidence level is currently at with their budding success. It might be a tough ask, but Utah must at least match that energy on Saturday.
  2. Can Utah Make A Statement On The Road? This Saturday feels like a great opportunity for the Utes to make a final, big statement on the road. Utah has gained a lot of respect this season for their “next man up” mentality in dealing with their injuries and it has produced a lot of wins for them that in years past they may not have gotten. The Wildcats are a team everyone is hot on and for good reason. Beating them big in their house, on the road after a disappointing loss would go a long way to leaving a very positive, final impression of the Utes for the 2023 football season.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Bryson Barnes Finds Devaughn Vele To Put Utah On Board